The Islamic term for cleanliness is Taharah, also means purification. As we all know very well, cleanliness is important in every aspect of our lives. All the religions, cultures and societies appreciate cleanliness. It’s good for physical and spiritual health. Islam has put a lot of emphasis on cleanliness. Its importance can be gauged by the hadith which says that cleanliness is half the faith. Our beloved Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him) loved cleanliness.
Cleanliness is both personal and communal. It is keeping oneself clean, wearing clean clothes, keeping the room and home clean and keeping the environment clean. It is said that removing any stones or garbage from the path is also an act of good deed. To keep oneself clean one has to bathe regularly, for personal hygiene. We are also required to do ablution (wuzu) for performing the prayers (Namaz). We can learn a lot of details about cleanliness and ablution (wuzu) from the Quran and the ahadees. When we do ablution for Namaz, we wash our hands, mouth, nose, face, and feet. Our beloved ProphetPBUH was also very particular about oral hygiene, cleaning the mouth and teeth. This is the reason that the use of Miswak was a regular practice of our beloved Prophet PBUH. Miswak is a tree twig of a plant native to Middle east, used as a toothbrush. Our Prophet PBUH recommended the use of the Miswak long before the toothpaste and the toothbrush were invented. It is a Sunnah to use the Miswak at the time of every ablution (Wuzu). It’s sunnah of our beloved ProphetPBUH to stay clean and tidy. His attire was always clean, even if it was very old. It is very desirable to wear decent and clean clothes, especially at the time of performing the prayers (Namaz). Keeping the hair clean and tidy is also part of the cleanliness. Trimming and keeping the nails clean is also an important aspect of physical cleanliness.
Cleaning after using the toilet or after urinating is also very important. It is absolutely necessary to keep the urine away from the body and the clothes, and to wash after urination. Just using toilet paper is not enough. The modern science also recommends keeping the hands cleans. It is necessary to clean the hands after touching anything that is dirty. With all kinds of pandemics occurring, it is doubly important to keep clean and avoid anything dirty or contagious.
With physical cleanliness comes the cleanliness and purity of heart and mind. It also brings peace of mind to the person. As oral cleanliness is important and a Sunnah, brushing the teeth and using miswak, guarding one’s tongue is also part of cleanliness. Not talking bad of anybody, not backbiting, speaking the truth refraining from lies is part of the cleanliness of heart and mind. It is very important to be truthful. Trying to do as many good deeds as possible and trying to refrain from and avoiding all the bad deeds also gives one peace of mind and cleanliness of the heart and is good for physical and mental health. Equally important is eating clean and Halal food. So, when the parents expect the children to maintain cleanliness in all aspects of life, it’s for the lifelong benefit of the children. And a very basic part of the Islamic lifestyle. Let’s get into the habit of cleanliness, physically, morally and spiritually. May Allah guide us to the right path. Ameen.